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Child slavery nowA contemporary reader$
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Gary Craig

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847426109

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847426109.001.0001

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Child domestic labour: fostering in transition?

Child domestic labour: fostering in transition?

Chapter:
(p.203) twelve Child domestic labour: fostering in transition?
Source:
Child slavery now
Author(s):

Evelyn Omoike

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847426109.003.0013

This chapter examines one aspect of child trafficking: fostering. It considers the practice of fostering in the West African context, and the extent to which fostering overlaps with the phenomenon of child domestic work, which is very extensive in many cities of West Africa. The chapter argues that current child-labour policies and interventions, which focus primarily on the nature of the work those children undertake, fail to properly take into account the nature of domestic work. This work, often undertaken under the guise of ‘fosterage’, frequently but not necessarily through kinship networks, is a common cultural phenomenon. Failure to understand how this operates and overlaps with child domestic work more generally reinforces the exclusion and exploitation faced by African child domestic workers. Traffickers can take advantage of this system to place children in exploitative situations, for example. Because children then lack supportive networks, they can be open to horrific abuse. Unlike most other forms of child slavery, there is yet no convention explicitly targeted towards child domestic labour.

Keywords:   West Africa, fostering, child domestic labour, child trafficking, fosterage, child domestic workers, child slavery, exclusion, exploitation

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